Sunday, August 21, 2016

Don Juan, or If Don Juan Were a Woman / Don Juan ou Si Don Juan était une femme (1973)

Roger Vadim's 1973 film that represents a high point of an era of gender politics. As Vadim himself stated;
My attitude to women is accepted today in a way that it wasn't when I started out as director. But today woman overreact - they pretend to be free on an intellectual and sexual level but because of our Christian traditions sex is always associated with guilt. Now however it's possible for a woman to have the same relationship with sex as a man - a man who is a lover can be a Don Juan whereas women like that were always considered whores or femmes faciles. But I think a woman can be free without being a whore. A female Don Juan can exist nowadays without a sense of guilt.

He later elaborated:
Don Juan is the end of a period - problems about love and sex, cruelty and romanticism on an aesthetic level - and I wanted to finish that period with Brigitte because I started with her as a director (And God Created Woman). Underneath what people call "the Bardot myth" was something interesting, even though she was never considered the most professional actress in the world. For years, since she has been growing older, and the Bardot myth has become just a souvenir, I wanted to work with Brigitte. I was curious in her as a woman and I had to get to the end of something with her, to get out of her and express many things I felt were in her. Brigitte always gave the impression of sexual freedom - she is a completely open and free person, without any aggression. So I gave her the part of a man - that amused me.

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